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Archive for January, 2016

Prepare to get assaulted by blog posts. So much useless (and timely) end-of-year content to share, so little time!

So let’s recap. My goal in December was to complete a random assortment of leisurely pursuits of my own devising. Mostly while on a holiday-type vacation in Washington state.

I dug in and really went full half-assed at the task, but like all things of piddling consequence, I amazed myself with a 85% success rate! Parade worthy?

Let’s have a gander at what transpired. (Your cue to bolt.)

Goal for December: Do all 13 items (for luck) on my specially curated To Do List.

 
December 2015 To Do List
  1. Go skiing – Last year I hurt my back, so did not get to ski. This year that situation is rectified. Result: I hit the slopes at Crystal Mountain! I did not slide all the way down a black diamond slope! Where did you hear that rumor?
  2. Attend three Seattle Seahawks games – Boom! One in Baltimore and two in Seattle. Result: Boom! Boom! Boom! They won two and lost one.
  3. Visit Portland, OR – I hear they could really use a force like me. Result: Done. A quick and dirty drive-by for lunch.
  4. Experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maybe even up to five times if it’s good… Result: The Force is with me.
  5. Visit two new breweries – There are so many new ones, so let’s get it on! Result: Yes, I went to 7 Seas Brewery (Gig Harbor, WA) and Fremont Brewery (Seattle, WA). 
  6. Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – This will go on every future To Do List forever and ever. Result: Eaten deluxedly.
  7. Enter a cabin – Preferably one that we rent, but I’m not adverse to a little B&E if that’s what it takes. Result: True. It was called ‘Sweet Dreams’.
  8. Try 12 new beers – Burp. Result: Of course. I lost count, but I’m sure the final number of beers I tried was impressive.
  9. Hike a hike – I need to get outside! Result: I did a short meander about Clark’s Creek Park in Puyallup.
  10. Eat at one of Seattle’s best restaurants – According to this list here or even this one hereResult: Did not!
  11. See Book of Mormon – Want to. Will try. Result: Nope!
  12. Attend and write-up two concerts – Minimum. Result: Done! I reviewed The Arcs (a side-project of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) (read about it here) and Des Ark (read about it here).
  13. Wild Card – Something fun or dumb, that I can’t think of now. Result: One day we decided to drive to Portland, hang for a hot minute, then drive home. Dumb but typical. We used to do that often when there was a Chick-fil-A at the Lloyd Center. But it’s been gone a long time. Yes, this is different from #3 above. No fact checking allowed.
Final Results: 11/13
2015-12-29 11.07.54

Sweet Dreams

 

2015-12-23 17.43.25

Seven Seas Brewery

 

Clark's Creek Park

Clark’s Creek Park

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The snow beast has arisen!

A snow journey taken randomly…

Snowzilla 2016

Snowzilla 2016

Snowzilla 2016

A blizzard this way comes.
Snowzilla 2016

Let’s play on Day 2

Snowzilla 2016

Snowzilla 2016

Snowzilla 2016

Tread lightly.
Snowzilla 2016

Snowzilla 2016

Snowzilla 2016

Snowzilla 2016

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The Art of Travel

 

One of my goals for 2015 was to read 36 books outright.

That didn’t happen. I powered through a mere 32. Nothing to complain about, I suppose. I am mortal, but I was within spitting distance! Ptui

I put my feet up and partook in a healthy amount of science fiction last year. Nine books to be precise. Three of them made my list below. Are you screaming in joy yet?

I also nimbly vetted four Agatha Christie novels because it smacked of the thing to do. Or at least something I had never done before.

5. (Tie) Ready Player One (Ernest Cline, 2011) – The future is bleak. But the inventor of the all encompassing virtual world that everyone escapes to, develops a treasure hunt, where the victor is the supreme ruler of that world. And infinitely rich. The inventor loves all things from the 1980’s. So the quest is a geektastic exploration of nostalgia from the music, video games, TV and movies from that era. Our hero is an expert on all things the inventor likes. But so are many others. Some not so nice. Who will win? Oh yeah, Steven Spielberg’s movie adaption comes out in 2017.

5. (Tie) Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy Book 1) (Pierce Brown, 2014) – The sort of story someone might like if they enjoyed the Hunger Games or Total Recall or Greek mythology. It’s about a young man from Mars who seeks revenge for the death of his wife by infiltrating the ruling upper class, that style themselves after Greek Gods. He joins their training school, which is an expansive and glorified version of capture the flag. It reads fast and you will be entertained.

4. Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life (George Monbiot, 2013) – The ideas this book spark and the possibilities of how to live and let live are incredible. My favorite is that we often try to preserve the wrong thing in nature. We try to save or reconstruct what we know from our lifetimes (or parent’s lifetimes), but often those habitats and wildlife are not the original way of things. 100 years ago is not that long in the grand scheme of things. So much has happened in that time, yet humans and nature can co-exist. The book slogs at certain points, but the overall picture is worth an occasional slow spot.

3. The Martian (Andy Weir, 2014) – Read it now and you will certainly picture Matt Damon navigating the Martian landscape. You will certainly hear his voice narrating and explaining thorny nuggets of science theory. There is a big element of technical science, but it’s never too hard to grasp and is done with a smidgen of humor. And if you didn’t hear, The Golden Globes gave the movie adaptation the award for Best Comedy/Musical. What the…? It is not a comedy and the only music is disco.

2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Daniel James Brown, 2014) – I would posit that the title alone should be instructive on the topic of this book. Outside that, this is the story of the University of Washington (UW) rowing team and their journey to be the best in the world. Most of the story is about the life of one of the boys, the Nazi PR machine leading up the Olympics and the epic rowing rivalry between the UW and the University of California – Berkeley, in a time when rowing was among the biggest and most prestigious sports in America. Hard to believe when you look at today’s sporting world, but true. My favorite part was when the UW rowing team clandestinely went to visit President Roosevelt’s actual home. They snuck in the back, knocked and were welcomed in to the house by his son, James, who was a huge rowing fanatic and had rowed himself. Imagine what would have happened today. I highly recommend you put down what you’re reading now, and read this instead.

1. The Art of Travel (Alain de Botton, 2004) – There are books that enrich your thinking. There are books that drop ideas into your brain that open wide all new possibilities. There are books that give you pause, just long enough to exclaim ‘Ah ha! and shake your head with a smile. Then there is this book that does all of those things, but goes beyond. What is travel? Why do we do it? And what perspective is the most important? This is an exploration of perspective, using the concepts and work of artists and authors as a key to unlocking the truth. The truth for you. I will only fail to describe the effect, so just read it. That is the best advice I can give.

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Let’s just say December involved a lot of football; either watching on TV, attending a game or playing flag football.

Make merry and check out a few examples.
UW Flag Football team
2015-12-06 11.23.24

 

Seahawks at CenturyLink Field
2015-12-20 15.17.04

 

Seahawks at MT&T Stadium in Baltimore
2015-12-13 13.06.29

 

Snowy cabin
2015-12-29 11.07.54

 

Any beer called Reign Man ESB is okay by me (7 Seas Brewery)
2015-12-23 17.43.25

 

Food Bonus!

Ramen in Portland
2015-12-29 13.25.21

 

Seattle dog
2015-12-20 11.16.17

 

More beer
2015-12-28 13.02.47

 

Extra Extra Bonus!

Nick Offerman’s Yule Log is okay by me
2015-12-06 13.27.46

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